July 14, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Okaro White helped lead the Memphis Grizzlies to the championship game of the Orlando NBA Summer League and earned an invitation to the Grizzlies’ NBA Training Camp as he averaged 8.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in five games, and Ian Miller averaged 9.8 points and 3.0 assists in four game for the Detroit Pistons as the two Seminoles began their professional careers during the first week of July.
White scored in double figures twice with 11 points against both Orlando (July 8) and Detroit (July 6) and pulled down a tournament high of four rebounds against both Philadelphia (July 11 in the league championship game) and against Miller and the Pistons. He was one of the top free throw shooters in the league as he made 21 of 25 free throws (.840 percent) including seven of eight against both Philadelphia and Orlando. White averaged 16.2 minutes played per game with his high of 17 minutes coming against by the 76ers and the Pistons.
White started three of the Grizzlies’ five games and was the team’s sixth leading scorer. He was one of five players on the roster who started at least three games and one of only seven players on the 15-man roster who played in all five games. White finished tied for the team lead with 21 free throws made.
White averaged a career-high 13.6 points and a career-high 6.8 rebounds at Florida State during his recently completed senior season. He led the Seminoles to two NCAA Tournament appearances (2011 and 2012) and earned his degree in social science from Florida State in May of 2014.
“I am very excited for this opportunity,” said White. “It means everything to me to have a great chance to reach my dream. I won’t stop working hard to reach my goals. I am going to take advantage off all of my opportunities.”
Miller also enjoyed success as he helped lead the Pistons to 3-2 record with wins over Houston (July 5), Memphis (July 6) and Miami (July 7). Miller averaged 20.0 minutes played, shot .481 from the field (13 of 27), .429 from the 3-point line (three of seven) and was a near perfect .909 from the free throw line (10 of 11). Miller finished third on the team with 12 assists and a 3.0 assists per game average.
Miller was a starter in the Piston’s final two games of the five-game tournament and averaged 9.0 points and 22.0 minutes played against Boston (July 9) and Orlando (July 11). He scored 16 points against both Boston and Miami as he shot .550 percent from the field (11 of 20) and was nearly perfect from the free throw line with a .889 shooting percentage (eight of nine). Miller was credited with a tournament high of five assists and one steal against Orlando and made one 3-point field goal against Memphis, Miami and Boston.
“I feel I have put myself in a great position to start my professional career,” said Miller from his home in Charlotte, N.C. “I played the point guard position in Orlando and the NBA teams I have been in contact with feel that the point guard position is new to me. The teams I have spoken to believe that I can still learn and grow in the position.”
Miller averaged a career-high 13.7 points and was named the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year as a Seminole in 2014. He finished his career ranked ninth in school history with 146 career 3-point field goals made.
In the only meeting between White’s Grizzlies and Miller’s Pistons, White scored 11 points to Miller’s five and the Pistons topped the Grizzlies, 85-82.
The Las Vegas portion of the NBA Summer league is underway with Bernard James playing for the Dallas Mavericks and Xavier Gibson playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. James scored 21 points against Minnesota (July 12) and totaled a double double of 15 points and 10 rebounds against the New York Knicks (July 11). He is shooting .722 from the field (13 of 18) in his first two games. Dallas plays Toronto and 6:00 p.m. ET on Monday (July 14). Gibson was a starter in the Lakers’ first game of the tournament against Toronto (July 11) and totaled four points in nine minutes of play. Gibson and the Lakers will play against Golden State on Monday (July 14) at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Each the four former Seminole players in the NBA Summer Leagues this year were members of the Seminoles’ 2012 ACC Championship team – the first ACC basketball championship in Florida State history.
Former Seminole great Sam Cassell is an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. The Wizards are 2-0 in league play and face Miami on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET.